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20 August 2019 · Service

What do-it-yourself car maintenance should you be doing?

We know getting your vehicle serviced ranks somewhere down near going to the dentist. You hate having to do it but you know it’s for the best.

To ensure that your car serves you well and retains its value you do have to maintain it and look after it. In between getting your vehicle serviced we recommend checking your vehicle yourself. We have put together a list of basic maintenance suggestions that you can learn to do yourself. The older the vehicle the more often you will need to do these maintenance checks.

Check engine oil

With the engine at operating temperature and turned off, check the oil level on the dipstick.

1. To get a correct reading, the vehicle should be parked on level ground. After turning off the engine, wait a full 5 minutes for the oil to drain back into the engine sump.

2. Pull the dipstick out while holding a rag under the end and wipe it clean.

3. Reinsert the dipstick fully. The reading will be incorrect if it is not fully reinserted.

4. Pull the dipstick out while holding a rag under the end and inspect the oil level.

If the level is near or below the Low Level, remove the oil filler cap and add small amounts of the same type of engine oil as already in the engine this time - using the dipstick to check the level.

Check Brake Fluid Level

The brake fluid is housed in a see-through reservoir within the engine compartment. Conduct a visual check to ensure that the level is between the 'MAX' and 'MIN' lines on the reservoir. It is normal for the fluid level to go down slightly as the brake pads wear, so ensure the reservoir remains filled.

If the reservoir needs frequent refilling, it may indicate a serious mechanical problem and you should make arrangements to visit New Town Toyota service department. If you're not sure where to find the brake fluid reservoir, check your Owner's Manual or via the Toyota Manuals website.

Check tyre pressure

Conduct a visual check of your tyre every week and check the inflation pressure with a tyre pressure gauge fortnightly, or at the very least, monthly. And don't forget to also check your spare. The importance of the correct tyre pressure can't be stressed enough.

The correct tyre pressure for your vehicle can be found on a label inside the driver's door or in your Owner's Manual or via the Toyota Manuals website. For an accurate reading only check the pressure when the tyres are cold. You will find a pressure gauge and air hose at most petrol stations. Remove the valve caps and hold the air hose to the tyre valve, then slowly add air until you reach the specified level. Always replace the valve caps tightly.

Check engine coolant

Open the bonnet and look at the see-through coolant reservoir when the engine is cold.

If you can't locate the coolant reservoir refer to your Owner's Manual. The coolant level should be between the FULL and LOW lines indicated. If the level is low, add enough coolant to bring the level up to the FULL line.

Check Lights and Basic Functions

Walk around your car and check that all lights are working, including your hazard lights.

Listen to your car from the outside, make sure it isn't making any unusual noises. 

Also check the horn and the service indicators within your instrument cluster, which should light up when you start the engine.


Something's not quite right?

If you have done all of these checks and you notice something is not quite right, for example the engine is making a rattling sound, your brake lights have stopped working. Contact New Town Toyota service department and they are here to help you! 

We are open early mornings during the week from 7.30am and on Saturdays until 1pm so we can fit into your busy lifestyle.